The Faces of the Doctor
28 October 2013 at 21:44 #1949428 October 2013 at 23:23 #19496
Thanks for that @craig – that actually seemed really brief in comparison with others, and I was surprised the timings were the same! I’d forgotten the cliffhanger for Stolen Earth had made it onto the news (must have been the start of silly season that one).
I think the revisited for Doctor 11 premieres in the UK first this month on Watch. I therefore demand some US viewers come in to complain about this injustice at once, for International balance. 😉31 October 2013 at 13:33 #19718wolfweed @wolfweed
A video of the main guest panel for the BFI’s Eighth Doctor celebratory event was uploaded for viewing this morning1 November 2013 at 09:43 #19778
Gosh, is it November already? Any thoughts on this chap, Matt Smith, or indeed any Doctors are very welcome.
We started this journey in January with a plan for a Doctor a month for eleven months, not realising at the time that the end of the 12th month would see a new Doctor. While it seems strange to be talking about eleven when he’s still in the role, I guess that was always the plan.1 November 2013 at 09:48 #19780
So – what were you doing on Saturday 3rd January 2009 at tea-time? I can remember well, because I was watching a specially arranged version of Doctor Who Confidential on BBC One, and this had just happened:
I stared at the screen with bemusement. What the hell had just happened? I’m told most of the country immediately asked “who the !@*K is Matt Smith?”, but I’d seen him with Billie Piper in the Philip Pullman “Sally Lockhart ” adaptations. A bit of a jack-the-lad. I’d seen him in Party Animals. Such was the atmosphere that radiated from me, MrsPhaseshift had to go upstairs to give me some alone time in a darkened room.
Genuinely, I was confused, and feared for the sanity of Steven Moffat on that day.
“So… all of time and space, everything that ever happened or ever will – where do you want to start?” – The Doctor
It took Matt Smith about 10 minutes of The Eleventh Hour to convince me I was very wrong indeed. Moffat was completely sane, but his vision for the Doctor wasn’t. By the end of that episode I was grinning like a lunatic and punched the air with excitement at the line:
“Amy Pond, there’s something you better understand about me ’cause it’s important and one day your life may depend on it…I am definitely a mad man with a box” – The Doctor
I AM a child of the Tom Baker years. I know an insane Doctor when I see one. I met Tom as a child and had the opportunity to study him up close. He was bonkers, frankly. When I’ve looked back over these eleven months, although I can appreciate each Doctor (bar one) and their performance, it’s always the ones that have those qualities accentuated I’m drawn to. It is always going to be Troughton, Baker (T), and McCoy. It’s not necessarily what they say, it’s how they say it, through mannerisms, body language and sometimes inappropriate actions which appears contrary to what they are saying. They are a bit bewildering. Hence, I think, my very high opinion of Matt Smith, who has taken the idea of the mad Doctor and turned it, in true Spinal Tap style, to 11.
“I grew up” – Amy Pond
“Don’t worry, I’ll soon fix that” – The Doctor
So for the last four years, Doctor Who has cured me of being an adult. While I’ve always been a fan, and wouldn’t miss one for the world, the current show has hotwired me into the imagination and joy of my early years, and that is a very special thing. Watching Smith’s performance both exhausts me and makes me feel young.
It also helps that the stories have been stronger (particularly the arcs) and more consistently appealing to me. There are relatively few that I would categorise as duds in his era. The puzzles, and non-linear storytelling are a breath of fresh air, and they have pushed this madman to the limit. It’s no secret that many of the surviving Doctors have a touch of envy the range of the scenes given to the successors, and who can blame them?
So for me it’s simple – the way it’s played, the range, the ability to highlight both negative and positive quirks of the Doctor in sharp relief, and those big sprawling storylines with their mysteries to unravel have made this my favourite period of Who history.
I will be sad to see Smith go later this year. It’s been fantastic to have a madman back in the Box. I’m sure we won’t see another one for quite some time, because Smith has been so good at it. Capaldi will take it in a new direction, and he’ll be brilliant. Probably not that mad though.1 November 2013 at 11:44 #19791Defenderofearth12 @defenderofearth12
Okay, so I’m sorry if you guys THINK this is spam BUT I’m pretty sure, as whovians, you;d love this. They are giving away a LIFE SIZE TARDIS in a RAFFLE DRAW!!!!1 November 2013 at 12:03 #19794
We already know about the raffle. It was posted all over this forum a couple of days ago by someone calling themselves badlydrawngirl. Know her by any chance.
I left one link up. Everybody now knows about it. Now stop spamming it. I will delete every link you post to it for the reason above.1 November 2013 at 13:26 #19800WhoHar @whohar
While some of the stories have left me a bit meh, I always enjoyed Matt Smith’s performances. A nice blend of old man in a young man’s body.
And I think The Eleventh Hour is probably the best first post regen adventure for any Doc, with the minor caveat that I have never seen Troughton’s first ep.1 November 2013 at 19:17 #19812
@phaseshift – yes, I was watching on 3rd January 2009. Then I spent the next year saying: ‘Matt Smith’s gonna be fine. Don’t worry about it.’
🙂 You’re quite right, though – there were an awful lot of people who thought Steven Moffat had gone stark raving mad.
Mind you, I was in the ‘who the !@*K is Matt Smith?’ category; I hadn’t watched either the Sally Lockhart dramas or Party Animals and needed to catch up on his work. But I had spent over a decade of my career making very fast decisions on whether an actor might be a ‘possible’ for a part. And there was a moment in that interview (I think it was when Matt Smith talks about his sense of mischief, which is at 1:48) where, just for a second, I could see ‘The Doctor’ peep out from behind his eyes.
So I knew what the producers had seen and I knew why they’d cast him.
It isn’t just that Matt Smith’s Doctor is completely bonkers, it’s that he effortlessly ‘is’ the Doctor. Everyone thought it would take several episodes to win people over, but most of the audience were sold the second he popped his head out of the TARDIS in The Eleventh Hour. The reviews next day were jokingly saying ‘David who?’ Because Matt Smith was the Doctor.
Part of the fun of this period has been seeing Matt Smith grow as an actor. It’s not just that the actors in the AG series got a greater range to play; it’s that the writers have been confident that their Doctors can play whatever range they’re given, handle any storyline – however complex. Smith’s performance in The Eleventh Hour is wonderful; his performance in The Name of The Doctor has a maturity, a confidence and great depth. He always, from the beginning, had a strange maturity for someone in his twenties; the ability to make you believe this young looking Doctor was a very old man. But he’s grown; it doesn’t seem implausible that this Doctor has spent centuries in this body.
One of the great periods of Who, this era. Strong stories, an inventive and unpredictable leading man, and a strong support cast to back him up. As we approach the end, I look back and go – ‘you know what? This was fun!’1 November 2013 at 22:21 #19851
I agree with you on Eleventh Hour. I think I said on the blog for that episode that I really hope Moffat can pull a double and write two great intros, with a good strong start for Peter Capaldi.1 November 2013 at 22:27 #19852
I agree with every word. I could have waxed lyrical about Matt Smith for hours, but I had to concede I’d already done that on the episode blogs! 😀 I thought I’d just dwell on how this run has made me feel, and it’s been fantastic.
The subtlety of the performance is astonishing, and as you say has grown over the three years. What really impresses me is the substantial work he did in that first series. It’s quite remarkable when I’ve revisited episodes like Vincent and the Doctor, The Lodger, etc (I concentrated my personal review on eps that our retrospective didn’t touch on). It really is that feeling of unpredictability about what he will do that really maintains interest.
I never thought someone so young could portray that old spirit so well. The scene at the end of The Big Bang, or the many episodes he has suddenly switched emotional gear in episode (as with Madge in tDtWatW) really do linger in the memory.2 November 2013 at 07:52 #19857janetteB @janetteb
Agree with everything that has been said. I was also rather aprehensive about such a young actor playing the role but listening to Moffat talk about the reasons for his selection I was hoping that we would all see what he saw once Smith stepped out of the Tardis, and boy did we see it. That mad smile won me over immediately. He “bounced” off little Amelia so well and who could fail to love someone who eats fish fingers and custard. In fact I think that Matt has always been at his best when acting against children. I loved his performance in Closing Time which, though not one of the best stories in terms of plot and monster, remains one of my favourites. I did find the characterisation a little eratic at first. I felt as though Matt was trying to be every regeneration rather than simply being himself but that soon settled down into the role. By this most recent series he had fully come into his own and I do wish he had at least two more series to build on what he has done to date with the character. (But I am equally impatient to see what P.C. will do with the role.) I think also that Matt deserves credit for following Tennant and pulling off his incarnation for he was stepping into some very big shoes, something I am sure he was fully aware of. It was a daunting task for such a young and relatively inexperienced actor.
I agree fully with you @phaseshift when you talk about the element of insanity. Like you Tom Baker (how annoying that there is another Baker who has no right to the title of Dr) was my doctor so that “element of insanity” is part of what defines the Doctor.
Janette18 November 2013 at 14:53 #20897
To conclude our Doctors in a reasonably priced car segment, and to answer the burning question “Just who can throw a reasonably priced car around a race track the fastest”, here is the Matt Smith interview and lap.29 November 2013 at 23:30 #2200720 December 2013 at 18:45 #23164
Strax has done his own “Faces of The Doctor” video post. Lots of nice gags, as always. I’m sure it was just for us.20 December 2013 at 18:55 #23166blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave
Unfortunately, the Strax video does not seem to be able to screen outside of the UK….
<shakes fist> The British Empire is screwed over once again!!20 December 2013 at 19:20 #23171
@blenkinsopthebrave That’s a bummer. If you’ve got an iPad or iPhone you can download the iPlayer Global app which it may be on. Hopefully it will be reposted soon though.21 December 2013 at 09:33 #2319121 December 2013 at 12:12 #23197blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave
Many thanks @craig. (and for the heads up on iPlayer Global!)21 December 2013 at 13:14 #23199Anonymous @
@craig — that’s a nice piece of Strax. Worth it for ‘sartorial celery’ alone….25 December 2013 at 06:14 #23350DiscoStu @discostu
I’m an old school fan of Doctor Who, and I became a fan in the late 90s/early 200s when it wasn’t even popular. I watched most of the classic series (although there is still a ton I haven’t seen). A lot of them are extremely slow and boring, but there are a lot of great ones as well.
Now for the new series – I was extremely excited when I heard that the show was being rebooted for 2005. I thought Christopher Eccleston’s Doctor was good and I highly enjoyed quite a few episodes of the first season of the new show, but the tone felt a bit off, like they were marketing it too much towards kids. Then came David Tennant and the series just got too over the top silly for me to enjoy anymore. It has improved slightly with Matt Smith, but I still don’t like the tone of the current series, which is definitely going for camp over any kind of realism (even hyper-realism). Hopefully this will improve with Peter Capaldi’s upcoming era.3 January 2014 at 17:55 #23865wolfweed @wolfweed
Five years ago today the BBC announced who would play the Eleventh Doctor: A 26 year old actor called Matt Smith…
3 January 2014 at 18:06 #23866Whisht @whisht
oh no! He’s far too young!
I know this will be a disaster and this casting just goes to show that Moffat has no clue how to write.
Wenger out!3 January 2014 at 18:28 #23869toinfinityandbepond @toinfinityandbepond
whatever happened to him?3 January 2014 at 19:20 #23873
Awwwww… lookit the widdle baby Matt …
My lord, the series does age them, doesn’t it?
That mature man looks considerably more than five years older than the boy in #238654 January 2014 at 08:25 #23910Meisiluosi @meisiluosi
Gotta say I’m still struggling to warm up to Smith. Most of his episodes are still ahead of me and he doesn’t really irritate me anymore, so I’ll probably end up liking him. He’s the Doctor, after all…:-)
But for the time being, I still find the 9th and the 10th more enjoyable and watching The Day of The Doctor only reminded me of how much I miss Eccleston (by his rather marked absence) and Tennant (by his all too brief presence). I’d definitely follow those guys into that blue box. Not sure about Matt yet.
Oddly enough I find myself really looking forward to Capaldi.
Not familiar with the classical series yet, I’m fairly new to Doctor Who. Planning to catch up on that as soon as school and work allow and looking forward…:-)13 January 2014 at 18:10 #24270
You’re right that this is a better place for chatting about different doctors, so I have replied over here. Seven was probably my second favourite of the BG doctors (although it depends on what I’ve been watching!). I love how he would clown his way into situations and then simply take command. As with the Fourth Doctor, he could be be rather scary when he wanted to be, and yet he was often very sweet and kindly. I have always felt that it was with this incarnation that, occasionally, the Doctor had begun to feel his age, as he had a sort of wistful sadness about him sometimes.13 January 2014 at 21:28 #24275Monochrome Dimension @monochromedimension
@arbutus – I love the Seventh Doctor; full of whimsy and fun… but oh so very manipulative. He’s actually one of the darkest Doctors; you can never quite tell his motives, there’s a sense that behind the clowning around he knows exactly what he’s doing. He’s clever, very clever, it seems like he knows things you cannot comprehend. Very mysterious… and yet hidden by his whimsical nature; such an interesting Doctor… of whom I adore. I agree about the ‘wistful sadness’ too, another trait that adds to his character’s mystery… almost melancholy. The style of most of his episodes are vastly different from previous Doctors too; I don’t find it a problem… even though I don’t recall watching any of his episodes when I were younger (though I probably did watch some eps of his), they feel nostalgic.
I’m planning on watching the McGann movie soon; I haven’t watched it in years… the fact that this is also when the Seventh regenerates is probably going to make me rather sad. When I watched it all those years ago I wasn’t a proper Whovian, so it didn’t really effect me… but now I know the Seventh; this isn’t going to be easy. Nowadays any regeneration story makes me sad anyway… might have to post about it after I’ve watched it again.14 January 2014 at 17:15 #24300
I never saw the McGann movie at all when it first came out. I assumed it would be awful. I did see it later, and enjoyed McGann and McCoy but didn’t care for much else about it. I revisited it after being introduced to the Eighth Doctor on audio, and was fascinated at how similar and yet how different the characterizations were. I read somewhere that the filmmakers had had him pitch his voice slightly higher, and keep his portrayal a bit frothier, perhaps in keeping with the costume. When he revisited the character for audio, he gave it a bit more gravitas, and it worked really well.
I loved the film’s portrayal of the Seventh Doctor. He seemed at peace with himself, as though he had come through fire and blood and machination, and now he just wanted a quiet life in his new-look console room, with his comfy chair, books, music, and tea!14 January 2014 at 19:04 #24307Monochrome Dimension @monochromedimension
@arbutus – Well I just watched it; its rather different than usual Doctor Who, but its okay. I think McGann would of been a great Doctor if he had a series… maybe they can make a special for him… he was great in that minisode.
And… lets just say I found the scene with the Seventh Doctor on the operating table hard to watch; it affected me to say the least. He’s very dear to me and to watch that was not easy. Apart from that; I liked his scene in the TARDIS beforehand at least.18 January 2014 at 23:02 #24417Anonymous @
I love the tenth doctor cause he was very cute and I loved his personality. Everything about him was so cool.
BUT I also love the eleventh doctor because he was my first and he just breaks my heart. Plus he is very funny27 January 2014 at 20:08 #24770kk74974 @kk74974
Hello you guys, I just wanted to find out something about the Ninth Doctor…I do not live on the UK, so maybe the answer is not quite obvious to me…
Why did Ecclestone last so little time? In comparison with David and Matt? Were there some problems between DW’s productions and CE?
I also ask because they could have recall the Ninth doctor into the 50th anniversary episode, it could had been awesome to have Christopher, David and Matt in the same episode…
Maybe some of you knows what happened, although I am quite happy with the faces of the Doctor, I just was wondering about CE short time as The Doctor.
Konrad27 January 2014 at 20:18 #24771Anonymous @
Keeping it brief, CE didn’t have a particularly happy time on-set and wasn’t overly thrilled with the way things were done so he decided to leave.
Steven Moffat did ask him to consider returning for the 50th – even went to visit him with a rough draft of the script but Eccles respectfully declined the invitation which is a shame.5 February 2014 at 19:18 #25050DrSmith @drsmith
Hello guys, I was watching a youtube compilation of (what I think is just coincidence) some lines diolgue that might connect Clara and River Song. Then it accured to me: Could River Song have had a few off screen adventures with Tennant’s Doctor(s) or do you think they were planned but Tennant left before the episodes could have been made?6 February 2014 at 10:50 #25055Anonymous @
Hi @bluesqueakpip 🙂 – I don’t intend this post as any kind of lecture about time lines to you. I mainly just want explain what my current understanding of time lines are. I like your input on the subject, so please let me know if there are any other ideas that I should consider.
The episode Father’s Day is an example of a one time line solution. When Rose saves her father, monsters come to correct the change in Rose’s past because a paradox would be created (she would not have met the Doctor). So changes to a characters’ personal time line is not allowed to happen with a one time line solution (especially when a paradox would occur). The Christmas Carol is another one time line solution, but I think it was allowed to happen because it wasn’t a change to the Doctor or companions personal time line. The companions would have died if the change didn’t happen (which does affect their personal time line), but it wasn’t fixed yet.
In the BB, Amy saves her parents and no monsters come to correct the change in her past. That should have caused a paradox too. But instead of monsters stopping the change on the one time line, I think a second time line was created as a solution to the paradox.
So DW the show does have examples of one and two time line solutions used in the Whoniverse. My guess is it just depends on the writer’s preference. I think Moffat prefers two time line solutions, because of episodes like tBB, tWoRS, and DotD. In those eps, the changes to the characters personal time lines were allowed to happen, so I think the only possible solution has to be the creation of another time line. However, the new time line doesn’t have to be significantly different than the first time line. It just depends on what the writers want to change or they think would change on the new time line (i.e. no crack in the wall; then no missing parents).
I put tWoRS in the two time line category to explain the lack of regen energy, which we saw happen in tIA. I definitely like that better than thinking it was just a mistake in the show. But it might only be one time line if you prefer a different explanation for that.6 February 2014 at 11:51 #25056
I think a second time line was created as a solution to the paradox.
Um…. the universe was rebooted? There’s no paradox because it’s an entirely new universe (which happens to look very like the old one). Technically, I suppose that would be two time lines. In one, the universe ended on the eve of Amy’s wedding. In the other, the universe started on the eve of Amy’s wedding. Most people didn’t notice the little tiny blip as they ‘jumped’ from one universe to the reboot.
I could draw a diagram… 😈
My guess would be that in this rebooted universe, Amy travelled with the Doctor because (after Angels Take Manhattan) he went back to little Amelia and promised her that he was going to come back when she was an adult.
The Amy the Doctor met as an adult in the new universe was annoyed because he took so bloody long to come back – but was expecting to travel with him – and even knew some details of her future adventures. Which would mean, even without a crack, the ‘new universe’ Doctor would know he had to take her with him.
So the timeline of the new universe would match up with the timeline of the old.
In this new universe, Amy’s life (like that of River and Clara) is partly the result of a stable time loop. She made sure, when she left the Doctor, that she travelled with him; even with the crack having been closed by the time the Doctor returned.
I’d have to rewatch The Wedding of River Song to check on the regen energy, so any comment on that will have to wait. 🙂6 February 2014 at 13:13 #25057ScaryB @scaryb
Could River Song have had a few off screen adventures with Tennant’s Doctor(s) or do you think they were planned but Tennant left before the episodes could have been made?
My personal theory is that River has had offscreen adventures with all the Doctors from Tennant onwards – well maybe not Ten, or Eleven would remember – but definitely postEleven, including all the ones we haven’t met yet 😉
My brain is boggled at your erudite musings on multiple timelines, rewritten universes, temporal paradoxes etc. I do go more for the time is overwritten theory myself. Like when you write something in pencil, rub it out, over-write… but there’s sometimes still a faint trace of the original left. As timetravellers the Dr and companions are more aware of those faint traces, especially when they apply to their personal timelines.
The Dr’s “timestream” as it is seen in all its sparkly glory in NotD, is described as “scar tissue” – time travel damages the universe, even if it’s in ways that the rest of us don’t notice6 February 2014 at 17:18 #25058
I have read a bit about multiverse theory, because my Family Members are both interested in physics and talk about it all the time at the dinner table. I usually just smile and nod, and look things up later. 🙂 But my understanding of multiverse theory, which is apparently the latest and greatest thing that for some physicists has replaced string theory, is that tiny changes could result in the creation of parallel universes, which are in some cases totally different (i.e. non life-supporting) and in others almost identical. (This is me both summing up and hoping I’m getting it right, because I’m not well-versed in physics.)
However, where this takes me is that what we really could be talking about is not just alternate time streams, but alternate universes (like Pete’s World). So every time the Doctor changes history in some way, it creates a whole new universe. This could also apply to times when he’s not changing what we know to be history, but influencing the course of events in some major way. Thus there might be universes in which the Daleks rule Earth, for instance, or in which the space Titanic crashed into London. Or just where one person’s life went by a little differently because they didn’t encounter the Doctor at just the right time.
And these different realities could all still exist in parallel universes, and it’s the show itself, and we the viewers, that are following a twisty line between them, our viewpoint jumping from one universe to another. @scaryb, perhaps the scar tissue represents the creation of all these many, many universes, each knot a point of divergence.
I’m not sure how to explain the paradox monsters in Father’s Day. But here’s a bonkers idea. Maybe when Rose saved her father’s life, she inadvertently changed something that had led to the creation of Pete’s World? So the paradox monsters came in because there was some kind of damage, not just to one time stream, but to the multiverse itself? (This could lead to great dramatic dialogue: “We must stop them! The future of the multiverse is at stake!!”6 February 2014 at 20:45 #25059DrSmith @drsmith
@scaryb I think she had to have been with Tennant because she regonizes his face and says have we done this and this. I think all of the River Song that happened with Eleven was originally planned for Tennant but he left. If anyone is confused, I’t’s kinda like in 05 when everyone knew Eccleston regenerated from McGann even though we didn’t see it. But that was in 05!7 February 2014 at 02:33 #25060Anonymous @
@arbutus – We are definitely talking about the same theories now. 😀
<Spikes the Ball…Dances in the End Zone>
“Wow many great points” is all I can say about your post (I hope I think of something new to say sometime in the future 🙂 ).
Unlike you, I don’t talk to physicists regularly, so my understanding of multi-verses is purely hypothetical. If the physicists tell me they have the mathematical formulas to prove multi-verses exist, then I will just have to take their word for it. 😆 I do find the theories interesting and they are fun to think about (until my head explodes). But in the end, I just try my best to understand what they are talking about.
You mentioned the viewer’s point of view in your post. Very good point, I think that is the key to understanding how the Whoniverse works. The writers are the ones setting the rules of the Whoniverse, so from our point of view; we just have to take their word for what the rules are (so trying to understand their fictional world is really just like real life for me, that makes it easy?! 🙂 ).
Here is my short list of the writers’ rules in the Whoniverse:
Pete’s World is definitely a separate universe (So the Whoniverse could have an infinite number of separate universes like Multi-verse theory, but we only know of two for sure). If the writers only want one separate universe in the Whoniverse then that is good enough for me.
The Doctor can’t travel between separate universes (except for when he does 🙂 ). I think in the current Whoniverse, the Doctor does follow this rule most of the time. But that could change, since the TLs used to do it all the time? (According to the Doctor??? 😉 )
So IMO, parallel universes and parallel time lines have to be different things. If not, (then like you said), the Doctor would be jumping between universes all of the time, which would mean the writers were breaking their own rules (I don’t think they are doing that, even though they do bend their rules once in a while (i.e. Rose coming back from Pete’s World in TL etc).
I like that you call the changes to the time line “points of divergence” (excellent name for them, PODs). That is what I think happens in the Whoniverse when things change, instead of creating a new universe, PODs are just a new branch off of the old time line.
Now is the tricky part – How the characters get from one time line to the new one, is entirely based on the Doctor’s and Companions’ point of view. I think they “jump” (like @bluesqueakpip said) from the old time line to the new one.
The jump happens from the “Real” place that the Doctor or companions were at on the old time line (not the place of the POD).
The new time line will be the same length as the old time line – (measured from POD to Real Place for both time lines). The Doctor and companions land on the new time line (and from our point of view they just got there). But from the view point of the new time line people, they were there all along (some version of themselves were there, but we didn’t see that from our point of view). The Doctor and Companions get all the memories that their new time line versions had, all at once (just like we saw in the Christmas Carol. When the “miser’s? Past” changed he got new memories) and still remembers the old time line.
It does help to think of the new time line functioning like a parallel universe. The new time line might look like a completely new universe depending on what changed to create the POD. If WWII was changed to cause the POD, or never happened for example, then the new time line could be much different. A paradox would occur if something like “life on earth ended” or the Companion is prevented from being born, because some version of the Doctor and Companions had to exist on the new time line up to the point they land on it (if not, then it would appear to be the end of the universe from our point of view).
I agree with @bluesqueakpip about tBB ep not being a perfect example of how two time lines should work. That’s why I think the Moment had to help out in that one. On an artistic level, I think it’s even better that way, since the actual Big Bang theory is a paradox in real life too. How did something come from nothing? If you believe in the theory, then it just did. It will take physicists, who are a lot smarter than me, to prove how. 🙂
@scaryb – The point you mentioned about the Doctor’s timestream in NotD is true also. I think that the the two time lines are never entirely seperate at all (it’s just easier to think about them as if they were). It is probably just one time stream that is all twisted up and crosses all over the place, since the time line we watch on the show is really just the Doctor’s personal time line. So they should look the same. 🙂7 February 2014 at 04:01 #25062schultze101 @schultze101
Word of warning, this is a rather long post, intended to spark discussion. This is not a passing thought.
This is on a somewhat old topic (I fell of the wagon last year when I watched Ten regenerate through the magic of Netflix, and haven’t kept up with more recent events) but I have started watching again from Series 5 onwards in stops and starts (thanks, college).
I burned through Series 5 quickly (there’s really not many shows like Who that leave you constantly capable of watching more) and am two episodes into Series 6.
Something struck me after I re-watched the last fifteen or so minutes of Day of the Moon, when Eleven drops the metaphorical boot on the Silence’s collective face. Something that shocked me when I realized exactly what he’d just done.
Eleven basically facilitates genocide towards an entire species, and doesn’t bat an eyelash. He makes the Silence command humanity for the rest of time to try and kill the Silence on sight. In fact, seconds after this happens, we see two instances of it about to happen. Admittedly, the Silence did kind of set themselves up for it (y’know, by secretly ruling/manipulating humanity and killing people) but we also have to remember, this was Eleven’s entire plan. The Silence they record for this purpose goes far beyond simply saying that humanity ought to kill them all on sight, but that’s the only part of that message Eleven cares to broadcast.
He goes straight to mass murder. That’s what it is. There’s really no other word for it. The human race has been subliminally programmed by Eleven by way of the Silence to kill any member of the Silence they see, as soon as they see them. Eleven facilitates and condones what is basically genocide.
When I realized that, I was more than a little off-put, and couldn’t help but wonder why. It’s not like The Doctor hasn’t killed creatures before, or just let them die. Nine unabashedly let Lady Cassandra split apart, and even though she managed to survive, no one knew she had or could. Ten drowned a nesting ship full of Racnoss babies. Now, admittedly, in Ten’s defense, his own personal emotional state was kind of not at its best (Rose had just been sucked through a portal and trapped in a parallel world that Ten could never reach, and the Racnoss Queen tried to have her kids eat humanity maybe two hours afterwards) and he had offered the Queen an alternative option. It’s also worth noting that he would have clearly let the Queen go, and she could still continue (I assume) to have future batches of eggs if she just left. While Ten did murder a bunch of alien infants, he offered a peaceful solution that was rejected and knew that killing the kids would not render the entire species extinct.
Eleven, by contrast, defaults to murder and probably extinction. Even if the Silence are on worlds other than Earth, we’ve seen time and again that the human race is not going to just sit inside the solar system. They have at least three galaxy-wide empires over the course of the future, and have spread out so far and often that by the time the Earth is consumed by the sun, the new New York made afterwards is technically the fifteenth new New York. Humanity isn’t going to stop encountering the Silence once they’ve killed every Silence they find on Earth (which will probably be just about all of them, if not all). Any Silence they see, for the rest of their existence as a species, they will kill. There’s no logical way the Silence will survive as a species, because humanity will likely find them on planets beyond Earth and was programmed to murder them. By Eleven. Eleven defaulted to facilitating genocide. He didn’t come up with some solution that keeps an image of the Silence within the public eye, so the fact that the Silence exist is always at least partially remembered by humanity and humanity can solve the problem the Silence present in whatever manner they decide.
Now, admittedly, we’d probably just decide to kill them anyway, but that’s not the point. Even if that was the conclusion we’d probably reach, the Doctor’s intent in that hypothetical case would be to simply inform the victims. And while he may still be somewhat culpable for our actions after he informs us, he’s still far less culpable with that solution than the solution he actually uses. Because his actual solution is to make humanity murder every Silence they see. He’s actively setting up and endorsing mass murder, rather than creating a scenario where mass murder might be a potential result of his actions. I didn’t realize it that way the first time I watched the episode because I was so into the episode, so happy that the Doctor had managed to find a way to get the Silence of humanity’s back. But when I actually thought about it, and realized just what Eleven had done, I was rather appalled. The Doctor defaulting to facilitating mass murder and being completely okay with it. Eleven even jokes about coming up with a more peaceful solution to the problem the Silence represent, then happily proceeds to turn the human race into a species of overly enthusiastic attack dogs pointed squarely at the Silence.
I know a previous Doctor refused, on moral grounds, to destroy the Dahleks at the moment of their incubation. The most vile, evil race that would ever exist, and he refused the opportunity to ensure they never would. Then, on multiple occasions in various regenerations since, he had a chance to exterminate (that’s not a pun, I swear) the Dahleks for good. Yet time and time again, he never took it. He always let them go. Meta-Crisis Ten destroyed the entire rebuilt Dahlek Empire, and Proper Ten made sure he would be left in Rose’s care to set him straight. He dumped a clone of himself in a parallel universe with a good influence because he recognized that said clone was a violent being capable of/willing to commit genocide and couldn’t be left to his own devices. The Doctor, historically, does not default to mass murder. For nearly every Doctor besides Eleven (some research reveals that Four was rather fond of it as a solution), mass murder/casual extinction is the absolute, don’t-really-even-consider-it last resort. Heck, remember Ten’s definition of genocide? His picture and the words “Over my dead body.”
Actually, I think Eleven also was completely willing to destroy the last six or seven Dahleks in existence in Series 5.
Eleven is a rather violent Doctor.
Make of this what you will.7 February 2014 at 06:44 #25064Anonymous @
@bluesqueakpip – no need for a diagram this time 🙂
Your point about it being a completely new universe is well taken, so I don’t know if two time lines are needed in that case (or maybe it’s just semantics like you said). Beyond that I think we mostly agree.
We both agree that, the old universe ended and new one began when the Doctor flew the Pandorica into the Tardis explosion. The question is where the “Real” place on that old time line was when that happened.
The Real place on the old time line is always from the point of view of the Time Travelers, which would make the Real place in time, the eve of Amy’s wedding night, just like you said. 🙂
The one point we might not agree on is: 7 year old Amelia’s place in time would be the “point of deviation” (POD) of the old and new time lines (IMO that’s when the crack closed and her parents returned).
The same Amy from the old time line got the new time line memories (POD to Wedding Day) all at once when she woke up on her wedding day.
Then she remembered the Doctor (at the wedding) which brought him to the new time line too.
How the Doctor’s time line is filled in on the new time line (or new universe too, since he didn’t exist until Amy brought him back) is to me the biggest problem to explain at that point. I just figure it all got rebooted once he got remembered (with nothing changed except he knows the crack is gone), It’s not a perfect explanation but works for me.
I don’t think we disagree really. We might disagree about exactly when the crack closed and the parents returned? But, two time lines explains that part pretty well.7 February 2014 at 09:49 #25065Anonymous @
@schultze101 you are a tad repetitive 🙂 about that one thing the doctor does? Hello, welcome, but honestly? Genocide? Look, we could have arguments aplenty in the land of Historians about how the words genocide is often mis-used; this could be one of them. I think he doesn’t actually pre-program humanity to kill “all the silence” (and is it pre-programming: I could be wrong). They do still exist later in tTofD -here, we find their actual position on humanity is clear. Going back as far as tWoRS, we see The Silence continually killing one human after another.
We know during TViVenice that many multiforms (including the vampiric look-a-likes) lost whole planets when Silence ‘fell’ and then they, the vampires, began sucking their way through Renaissance Italy as a consequence. It’s not a coincidence that The Doctor is a Time Lord: certainly he has always been something or someone to fear (for example Scaros with Tom Baker), and for good reason. He must associate with the most complex creatures of the universe. Those programmed to steal children; to kill people but, because you can’t recall them, you cannot, ever, do anything about it. I think that the Doctor has every right. Did everyone eradicate the Silence? No. They still existed. And, as you said, so did and does humanity.
purofilion7 February 2014 at 09:53 #25067Anonymous @
@schultze101 and to the mods; apologies, the above post and the one by Schultz should probably be moved to another, appropriate forum? Again, sorry. Kindest, purofilion7 February 2014 at 10:13 #25070Anonymous @
@purofilion – I was just in the process of moving them when I noticed your comment #25067 🙂
@schultze101 – the ‘Spoilers’ thread is only for any ‘unofficial’ information on upcoming episodes, such as plot/guest stars/returning characters etc. By unofficial, we mean anything that hasn’t been confirmed by the BBC. For further info, please click the link to the ‘Etiquette’ page at the top of the page.
Just to add my thoughts to talk of genocide, only those who had seen the Moon Landing footage would be affected. From 1969 through to the mid 70’s, this would have undoubtedly been a considerable number of people but, over the years, that number would dwindle as humans turned their attention to other events such as the launch of the first Space Shuttle, the first manned flight to Mars and the first humans to settle on a world outside our solar system. By the 51st century, where (I think) The Silence originate, it’s unlikely that any one, human or alien, has any interest in the Moon Landings.
In short, only a few generations of humans would have killed any Silence they came across. In Galactic terms, this probably amounted to a fraction of 1% of The Silences population being ‘lost’.7 February 2014 at 16:31 #25073
I agree with @fatmaninabox that the “programming” was only meant to deal with the immediate problem of the Silence on earth. In fact, we know that not every human was affected by the moon landing footage, because when Clara encountered them in TotD, she didn’t seem to be under any compulsion to try and kill them.
What the Fourth Doctor refused to do was to wipe out an entire race at their inception, when they were threatening no one and had yet to commit any crimes. He was also considering the good that would sometimes arise from their future evil. I think in the case of the Silence, it was a different kind of decision.
As @purofilion says, the Doctor has frequently been ready to take drastic action. Some incarnations have certainly been more pacifist than others, but the Sixth Doctor, for example, was not afraid to be violent, and the Seventh Doctor blew up Skaro! I believe that even the gentler-natured Fifth Doctor, when he encountered them, had come to view his earlier decision as a mistake he would not repeat. So we can agree with Eleven’s actions or not, but I don’t think that this kind of behaviour is anything new for the Doctor!7 February 2014 at 17:10 #25077
@barnable After the end zone dance, I believe that the appropriate action is for your teammate to start pounding you on the helmet. Consider this done.
I should clarify that I have never spoken to an actual physicist! The Family Members are hobbyists only, but they are constantly talking about physics, math, chemistry, and computer technology, and like the penguins in Madagascar, I just smile and wave. I have no idea what the scientific basis for multiverse theory would be, but I think it’s cool and most importantly, very relevant to Doctor Who!
This theory is definitely from bonkersland and I’m by no means married to it, but having suggested it, I’m now going to defend it with passion. We actually do know of at least one other parallel universe in Who, and that’s the E-space universe where Adric came from, and where the Fourth Doctor left Romana. (In fact, since the Eight Doctor and Big Finish are now canon, we can also include the Divergent Universe from those stories. And as you say, Ten does refer to travel between universes, so we know that they must exist.
While a timeline is clearly a different concept than a universe, and both exist, the question of whether changes in reality are the splintering off of new timelines or whole new universes would probably be impossible to determine, unless as you say, the writers actually pick one (and then stick to it, which is always the challenge for some of them!). And in a sense, as you and @bluesqueakpip say, I’m not sure what the practical difference would be between parallel time streams and parallel universes. Only we know that parallel universes are mentioned in-story, and I’m not sure that parallel time streams are. I’m not saying that they aren’t, only that I can’t remember any instances of it. Maybe someone else can? (@Bluesqueakpip, I’m seeing you again surrounded by flickering monitors, running old episodes and scrolling script data! Is that your Mind Palace? 🙂 )7 February 2014 at 19:48 #25079
I’m not sure that parallel time streams are.
The parallel time streams are both specifically mentioned and carefully demonstrated in The Girl Who Waited.
😉7 February 2014 at 21:58 #25080Anonymous @
@schultze101 I should also add that the Silence (and I totally forgot about this!) in DotM were a revolutionary group, part of the Kovarian Sect/Chapter. They were not the same Silence as seen in the most recent of episodes. The recent Silence are not malicious and as those above stated, Clara doesn’t kill them ( @arbutus) and only a few people would watch the moon landing in the first few centuries before it’s over taken by other more exciting events -as per @fatmaninabox.
Kindest, purofilion. Thank you for you request for assistance in your uni study. Unfortunately, I’m up to my eyeballs in my own uni lecturing and school and cannot assist. Apologies -P7 February 2014 at 22:09 #25081
@schultze101 – the post-hypnotic command is: “you should kill us all on sight”.
This means the Silence, after the initial, ah, shock, have a very simple and easy solution. Namely, get in their space ships/time machines and get the heck out of Dodge.
That’s all they have to do. The humans aren’t looking for them; the humans don’t even know they exist. Nobody will chase them if they leave Earth, no one will seek them out. They only have a (major) problem if they continue trying to manipulate human history – and so are seen by a human who’s also seen the footage of the moon landing.
So, sorry, no. Not genocide.
@arbutus: nice catch on Clara not being programmed to kill the Silence she saw. Is that because the non-revolutionaries have a different ‘uniform’, do you think? Or is it something about Clara?
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